November 15, 2016 at 11:15am
Dane Lisser

Ganley honored as Lincoln Academy Student Laureate

Philip Ganley

Millikin University senior sociology major Philip Ganley of Decatur, Ill., was honored as Millikin's recipient of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois' Student Laureate Award for 2016.

Ganley was presented with his award during the annual Student Laureate Convocation on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill.

The Lincoln Academy's Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Awards are presented for excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities to seniors from each of the state's four-year, degree-granting colleges and universities, and one student from the community colleges in Illinois. This is the 42nd year Lincoln Academy has celebrated students' excellence in Illinois.

Governor Bruce Rauner, President of the Lincoln Academy, and First Lady Diana Rauner welcomed all the students and awarded each one with a certificate of merit, a medal of Lincoln, and a $1,000 check.

"I did not expect to win this award and I was really excited when I found out I did," said Ganley.

Ganley, who is a Long-Vanderburg (LV) Scholar, is a member of the Millikin Baseball team and a three-year Academic All-Conference selection. He is president of the Sociology Club and a Long-Vanderburg Scholars Program mentor. Ganley is looking forward to a career in law enforcement.

Philip Ganley"As a Long-Vanderburg Scholars mentor, my main duty is to help run the Leadership Academy and reach out to the younger LV Scholars to make sure they are doing fine with classes and doing fine socially," said Ganley.

Kenneth Laundra, associate professor of sociology at Millikin said, "Philip Ganley doesn't just fit the prototypical all-star academic, he lives and breathes it. What I really like about Philip, as his professor and primary advisor, is the fact that he's just a great guy. He's always willing to engage in his own learning, with a penchant for taking the lead, either in class or with his many extracurricular activities, with an eye toward his ultimate goal, a career in federal law enforcement, where he will bring the academic insights, internship experiences and critical thinking skills he's developed as a sociology major in the Department of Sociology and Organizational Leadership."

Ganley was the recipient of the Scovill Prize at Millikin's Honors Convocation held in April 2016. The Scovill Prize is the most coveted student award for overall excellence at Millikin University. Scovill Prizes are awarded on the basis of academic achievement, demonstrated leadership and service, and scholarship.

Governor Rauner said, "President Lincoln's legacy is a reminder of the power of public service and civic engagement here in Illinois and across the country. The students chosen to receive this honor have exemplified the principles and ideals of the greatest Illinoisan through their hard work and dedication to their schools and communities."

Looking back on his time at Millikin, Ganley says, "I think of family because I'm from Decatur, my Dad went to Millikin, and I think of the tight-knit community that students have with academics, sports and student organizations."

Millikin University's Department of Sociology and Organizational Leadership is an interdisciplinary department with two majors that prepare students for a variety of professional careers in management, administration, non-profit, community or government agencies, social service, law and law enforcement, social science research, teaching or graduate studies. Students may major in either sociology or organizational leadership. For more information, visit